News 12 First at Five / Friday, June 28, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a program designed to help nontraditional students graduate from high school. The Performance Learning Center in Richmond County began in 2011 and has been growing ever since.
This year, for the first time, a grant is helping them continue through the summer.
Meagan Goodwin is one of the students taken advantage of the summer school. Just six months ago, she never imagined she'd be spending her summer in class.
"When I was 14 years old, my dad passed away, and he was all I had," she explained. "My mom's never really been around, so I was placed in foster care, and I guess that just made me frustrated in school."
Goodwin says she got to a point where she was ready to drop out, but back in February, she learned about the Performance Learning Center through the Board of Education.
"To tell you the truth it's been like the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me," she said. "I don't know where I would be without it. I probably wouldn't even be in school right now."
The PLC is a Richmond County school that offers nontraditional students options. They have four-hour school days and take their accelerated classes through an online system.
"We have several student who have issues that are causing them to drop out and they feel like they can't continue their education," said Director Natalie Robinson.
They help a range of students from teenage moms, students with full-time jobs and even kids without homes.
"We needed to catch those students who were falling through the cracks," Robinson said.
Now they are asking for your help as mentors and volunteers to help the kids succeed.
"I think it's very important to have somebody to look up to because a lot of times when you feel alone, that's when you really want to give up," Goodwin said.
"It's gonna help the place we're living because we won't have dropouts on the streets with no jobs," said Site Coordinator Regina Reid. "It's gonna help lower crime rates because they'll be working instead of getting in trouble and it's gonna enable them to further their education and give back to the community as well."
Something Goodwin says she hopes to do one day as an anesthesiologist.
"It's made me realize and help me realize what I want to do in life," she said. "It's actually pushed me to wake up and realize what I need to do."
The original class graduated 17 students. This year, they graduated 34 and they say that's 34 students who most likely wouldn't have a high school diploma if it weren't for this program.
Along with mentors, they really need people to help tutor math and come teach the kids how math is used in everyday life. They say that's one of the subjects the kids struggle with the most.
If you want to help, contact the school at (706) 796-4965.